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All Stu Grimson

from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,

SI.com: If they did take fighting out of the game, do you think that players would adjust and maybe, out of respect for the game, not take a run at a Crosby, a Gretzky, a Sakic?

SG: It's really hard to say. It's difficult to quantify because you never know until you eliminate that element from the game. Keep in mind that even for those who argue in favor of an outright ban, you'd no longer have the typical heavyweight enforcer, but you'd still have guys who are capable of taking care of themselves and their teammates when the gloves hit the ice. So you'd still have that measure of accountability, in my estimation. And the issue that the game is mostly focused on, and rightly so, is that we need to eliminate head trauma, deliberate and reckless blows to unsuspecting vulnerable players. I think that's where the focus is best kept.

The NHL has three arrows in its quiver. One is supplemental discipline. If [NHL VP for player safety] Brendan Shanahan doesn't like what he sees, he can hand down a suspension. Number two is the one-ice official. You're always in fear of putting your team in jeopardy with a minor, a double minor, or a major penalty if you act up on the ice and deliver one of those deliberate blows. Number three is if you've got a Brian McGrattan, a Stu Grimson or a Bob Probert on your roster, the players on the other team who may be inclined to deliver a blow like that are probably thinking in the back of their heads, "I have to answer for this if I do it, so I ought to be careful."

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Comments

Red Winger's avatar

That’s what I’ve always loved about Grimmer, he totally contradicts the perception most people have of NHL fighters:

” It’s really hard to say. It’s difficult to quantify because you never know until you eliminate that element from the game. Keep in mind that even for those who argue in favor of an outright ban, you’d no longer have the typical heavyweight enforcer, but you’d still have guys who are capable of taking care of themselves and their teammates when the gloves hit the ice. So you’d still have that measure of accountability, in my estimation”

Show that to someone who doesn’t watch much hockey and tell them it is from an NHL enforcer and they’d think you were BSing them.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/15/13 at 02:19 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

I’ve been raving for years now that eliminating fighting is the wrong thing to do, and its a breath of fresh air to hear a former enforcer not only agree to that but back up his opinion so articulately.

Beat the snot out of someone once and they remember that their entire career.  It forces them to play a different style game.  If Grimson was playing today against say Nazem Kadri, Kadri probably wouldn’t have taken that run at a second player and gotten a 3 game suspension because Grimson would have beaten the snot out of him for the first hit.

Kadri’s game would change ... you’d see fewer dangerous hit, and you’ll have fewer injuries overall.

Eliminating the ‘instigator’ penalty and the ‘third man in’ penalty would also help cut down on injuries .... but nooooooo.  The NHL insists on piling on more things for the referees to look for and call, making them more visible and more mistake prone.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 11/15/13 at 02:44 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar [quoteNumber three is if you’ve got a Brian McGrattan, a Stu Grimson or a Bob Probert on your roster, the players on the other team who may be inclined to deliver a blow like that are probably thinking in the back of their heads, “I have to answer for this if I do it, so I ought to be careful.”]

Not anymore.
When’s the last time we saw a top heavyweight fight a middleweight or non-fighter for delivering a dangerous and illegal check?
I highly doubt an enforcer would have fought Kadri for doing what he did.

That’s why I think goons are obsolete. If anyone, even small, skilled forwards, had hurt Stevie, Probie would have annihilated them - fighter, or no-fighter.

That’s the biggest change that’s happened over the past 10+ years.
Goons fighting other goons because a teammate did something dumb, does very little to stop dangerous hits.

Posted by Hank1974 on 11/15/13 at 03:59 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

“When’s the last time we saw a top heavyweight fight a middleweight or non-fighter”

You don’t because of the instigator penalty.

In todays game, you have to ask the other guy for permission to fight him.

Its the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.

Getting rid of the instigator penalty would help cut down on head shots and knee on knee checks and unnecessary boarding checks etc. because Mr. Enforcer would be able to beat the crap out of whomever needs it without asking for permission.

“I highly doubt an enforcer would have fought Kadri for doing what he did”

Wrong.
If there was no instigator penalty the Kadri would have gotten the crap beat out of him plain & simple.

“Goons fighting other goons because a teammate did something dumb does very little to stop dangerous hits.”

Very accurate and the best reason for abolishing the instigator penalty.  Enforcers fighting enforcers doesn’t teach the actual offending player a lesson.  It creates unnecessary “staged” fights.

If enforcers could fight the actual offender without getting thrown out of the game, dangerous hits would be cut in half.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 11/16/13 at 02:55 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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